Henri Matisse. The Blue Window. Issy-les-Moulineaux, summer 1913

Henri Matisse The Blue Window Issy-les-Moulineaux, summer 1913

  • Not on view

When this painting was first reproduced, in the May 1914 edition of the journal Les Soirées de Paris, it was titled La Glace sans tain, or "the mirror without silvering," referring to a device known as a Claude mirror: the dark, red-framed square in the picture. Many artists used one of these slightly convex, dark-tinted mirrors to clarify their compositions; a scene reflected in it is less colorful than life, its compositional elements accentuated. Something close to that effect is visible here in the structured vertical and horizontal bands and the cool blue palette that Matisse painted over other layers of color, some of which are still visible. As he simplified forms he reinforced them with incising and scraping, in, for example, the cloud at top left.

Gallery label from Matisse: Radical Invention, 1913-1917, July 18–October 11, 2010.
Oil on canvas
51 1/2 x 35 5/8" (130.8 x 90.5 cm)
Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Fund
Object number
© 2022 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Painting and Sculpture

Installation views

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Provenance Research Project

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The artist, Paris
1913 Karl Ernst Osthaus for the Folkwang Museum Hagen, Germany
1922 Folkwang Museum, Essen
1937 removed as "degenerate art" (by Reichsministerium für Volksaufklärung und Propaganda), 1937
1938 legally seized by the German Reich under the Law on the Confiscation of Products of Degenerate Art of May 31, 1938 (Gesetz über die Einziehung von Erzeugnissen entarteter Kunst), RGBl. 1938 I, p. 612
1939 on consignment to art dealer Karl Buchholz, Berlin
Buchholz Gallery (Curt Valentin), New York
April 13, 1939 The Museum of Modern Art (Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Fund)

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